Posted by: JohnO | February 9, 2009

Making it Practical

From Internet Monk:

1) There are massive amounts of talk. Constant, never ending talk on radio, blogs and television. But it’s not persuasive talk.

4) The civil rights struggle should be a great teacher for Christians who are pro-life, but I see little evidence of it. Dr. King and others had a sophisticated response to a deeply ingrained culture of hate: they out-loved, out-risked, and out-suffered them. Yes, there was rhetoric. Yes, there were speeches. But the civil rights struggle was a personal struggle won by people putting themselves on the line and saying “we will quietly, stubbornly, lovingly, sacrificially defeat this evil.” I don’t see leaders emulating or imitating this model. It’s just more and more and more outrage, and little conversion.

5) The Amish school tragedy has haunted many Christians. Are we prepared to respond to moral outrage and violence with greater love and greater forgiveness? Do we even have it in us? If such an act had happened in Christian schools, would there have been angry mobs outside the jails demanding a violent revenge? The lessons in the pro-life struggle are obvious: can we love those who perpetuate this evil? I can take you to blogs right now that will say we should not love them and that we have no responsibility to love them. Our response, according to these discernabloggers, should be hate and retaliation in the name of protecting the innocent.

I think these are some essential steps for making what we are talking about here practical.

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Responses

  1. Out of curiosity what exactly are you proposing we do on a practical level?

  2. I guess I’ll highlight less in order to bring out what I sympathize with:

    “persuasive talk” i.e. not rhetoric, not slander, dealing with issues in all of their facets, recognizing the other point of view.

    “people putting themselves on the line and saying “we will quietly, stubbornly, lovingly, sacrificially defeat this evil.”” personal sacrifice to bring God to someone else.

    And then the last one as a whole, using the Amish as an example of extremely Christian behavior in opposition to the proposed “Christian” behavior of retaliation.

  3. I like the approach of conjoining non-violence with the struggle against abortion. I guess, I’m just not clear how I can help. I’d like to persuasively talk to people and sacrifice time/money to imitate the Amish. Any suggestions in how I can do this?

  4. You just want me to spell it out for you eh ;). I’m just laying out some groundlines for making it practical. I don’t have a specific point of action in my mind on these issues. But – others do I’m sure.

    And the pro-life isn’t what I was trying to draw attention to. I’m kinda co-opting his original post – because it is very powerful.

  5. I see what you are saying. I have been turned off by a lot that pro-life activists have done. I feel deeply about this issue but I’m just not sure how to channel my energy in a positive direction. Furthermore, my Anabaptist side cringes at the lobbying and political chicanery that has been the hallmark of the pro-life movement in the US for the last decade. Anyhow, I think you are on to something with self-sacrifice. If I found out a woman in my church was determined to have an abortion. I could say (of course I would want to ask my wife first), let me take the child. If you do not want the child, then I’ll raise her, just don’t abort her.


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